As a number of real estate indicators continue to gain momentum, housing experts claim this could be a sign that industry has reached its bottom and is now staging a recovery.
According to real estate data from RE/MAX, increased home sales and stabilizing property values have roughly 70 percent of industry professional claiming the housing market has started its rebound. This same share feel that home prices will rise even more by the end of 2012, as the market enters its peak buying season.
"To active real estate agents, this market is definitely heating up," said RE/MAX chief executive officer Margaret Kelly. "They are witnessing a recovery across the country fueled by home buyers and sellers taking advantage of a significant market opportunity."
Experts anticipate a high level of demand to spur activity in the coming months. According to RE/MAX, 80 percent of agents feel the demand for low-priced homes is "good or very good," while 71 percent believe demand for middle-priced homes is "fair to good." In contrast, 58 percent claim the demand for high-priced properties is "poor to fair."
A majority of buyers revealed the most important priorities they had when it came to purchasing property were the quality of schools in the area, as well as the condition and size of the home. In contrast, the least important factors were public transportation, walkability and the nergy efficiency of a property.
The difference in demand toward low-priced and high-end homes could be an indicator of the current financial standing of a number of prospective buyers throughout the country. Meanwhile, it was found that roughly one in five homebuyers are paying cash for their transaction and subsequently receive, on average, a 15 percent discount.
Additionally, distressed properties continue to account for a significant portion of all home sales. In fact, RE/MAX noted that 62 percent of buyers share favorable sentiment toward foreclosed houses, while 27 percent share a similar feeling about short sales.
"With distressed properties still making up a sizeable portion of homes on the market, this inventory is being cleared effectively by buyers, who don't mind investing a little to fix up a property in return for an attractive bargain," Kelly added.
Experts believe the summer buying season is gearing up to be quite active. If this is the case, real estate agents and mortgage brokers alike are encouraged to work closely with prospective borrowers to help them make the transition to homeownership.